New Suunto Ambit Q&A Update

A number of you have been chasing us for some more details on the new Suunto Ambit – so we reached out to Suunto who have endeavoured to answer your questions. We will update this page as more insights come in.

Is the data downloadable to a PC?

  • Yes, you can attach the device to any USB compatible PC or Mac for charging. Moveslink software that you need for connecting your Ambit to Movescount.com online service is both PC and Mac compatible. You can export files from Movescount to Excel and other Software packages.

How versatile are the data fields for setup?

  • You can have up to 10 sport modes in your device simultaneously. You can include 1-8 displays in each sport mode. One display can have 1-3 pieces of data depending on the type of data.

What memory will the watch have?

  • The number of logs is yet to be confirmed.

Can you load a file to follow a course?

  • Not in Software version 1.0, this is a focus for SW 2.0 upgrade in the future. You can create waypoints in the device from your current location. You can also create waypoints in Movescount by selecting them on a digital map or inserting the coordinates. Waypoints in the device and in Movescount are always synced when you connect your Ambit to Movescount.

Can you share if this is a real deal and offers the same pedigree as many of the successful Suunto Diving and Flying ranges?

  • Suunto Ambit is made in Finland, same machinery as our dive units. The very best quality in the industry.

50 hours – Very good Selling point. Any Specs on the number of cycle (charges) it can hold? Couple of hundreds?

  • No specific details have been released but it is released with the expectation to last a user many years. It is not expected that the battery would need to be replaced at any point but if it is, Suunto Australia will undertake this responsibility.

Garmin Forerunner (Australia) have a good ‘replacement’ warranty here in Australia. What do you know about Suunto after sales support?

  • Suunto have a two year full replacement warranty on all watches. The best in customer service including a free call number to the Suunto Global Help Desk.

On the battery – pardon my ignorance, but does being a rechargeable lithium-ion mean it is or isn’t user-replaceable?

  • It is not user replaceable. It is rechargeable and expected to last the life of the unit.

Can you see your track on a map like on FR 305-310XT-910XT? and find your way back to your starting point ?

  • Tracks made by Ambit can be exported from Movescount in KML/GPX format, which in turn can be imported to Google Earth or any other digital map software (that support kml/gpx format) . This functionality will be available on spring 2012. Direct integration to e.g. Google Earth (by pressing a button) will not be available in the foreseeable future. There is Find Home function on Ambit to find your way back to starting point.

How much storage do you have ?

  • The number of logs is yet to be confirmed.

How do you charge the watch (i.e. after 50 hours of running is there a way to continue running while charging the device with an external battery ?)

  • You can charge the unit with USB-cable from your computer’s USB port or by plugging the cable to an AC charger. The USB cable is part of the Ambit sales package whereas the AC charger is available as a separate accessory. Third party USB compatible chargers such as some solar systems may also work. It takes approximately 2 hours to charge an empty battery. NOTE: If the power supply you are using gives lower voltage or current than the 5V/500mA according to USB standard then the charging time may be longer.

Is movescount able to upload big files (50 hours and more of recording)?

  • The maximum length of a log in Ambit is 16 hours. This means that you are logging GPS, HR, altitude, air pressure and other relevant data with 1 seconds interval. If the recording interval is longer (for GPS data it can be 60 seconds and for other data it can be 10 seconds) the length of the log is also longer.

If recording points every 60s, is the watch using the accelerometer to compute distance between the two recorded points (instead of just drawing a straight line between points and coming with an inaccurate distance because ther was a lot of curbs between the points ?)

  • Accelerometer is not used with 60s GPS interval. Speed and distance are based only on GPS measurements at 60s GPS interval. The aim of 60 sec fix time is to give extended battery life to an endurance athlete competing in events over 15 hours where adjustments in speed/distance are something that are monitored periodically as an average over time rather than every few seconds.

Anyone know how the USB connects to the watch? Im not a fan of the T6c connection.

  • Ambit uses a newly designed 4-pin connector from USB Cable. It offers a secure clamp and is very simple to use.

Also, Is it ANT+ or still on Suunto’s porprietary ANT setup?

  • Ambit is ANT currently with other connection types including Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ being assessed as to the most useful upgrade in the future. There is focus on making the unit compatible with Power meters in SW2.0.

Do you know if the Ambit syncs with a bike pod?

  • Yes. Also with Cadence and Foot Pod Mini.

Will it record / calculate the same sort of performance metrics as the T6?

  • Yes, beat to beat HR data is available from Ambit and respective HR analysis can be done in Movescount.com just like with t6. Great additions include live HR and Altitude Graphing, Peak Training Effect (PTE) and Recovery Time.

So if the altitude is barometrically measured, does it have a barometer like the Core or Vector ranges? If so, yes, this is approaching a perfect watch, if not, I’ll just have to wait.

  • Yes it does, the most accurate wristop barometric altimeter in the business.

Is it fair to assume the monitoring & training functions & analysis capabilities will be based on the T6c, so include both post-run and live (during run) V02 and EPOC? (presumably plus additional ones based on GPS data).

  • Yes, beat to beat HR data is available from Ambit and respective HR analysis can be done in Movescount.com just like with t6. Great additions include live HR and Altitude Graphing, Peak Training Effect (PTE) and Recovery Time.

Can you set distance-autolaps (eg 500m) for it to display & beep (like the garmins)?

  • Yes, auto-laps with alarms can be set based on distance or time intervals (e.g. every 5 mins or every 1 km).

If the answer to 2 is yes, then does it also have a vibrate alert as well as a beep?

  • No, there is no vibrate just an awesome alarm.

I’m trying to remind myself though, that functions like EPOC will be almost useless to an ultra-runner as it is only sensitive in high-intensity, relatively short runs (e.g. intervals). See the following for a brief explanation of how this works:
http://www.endurancetraining.com.au/Articles/Suunto%20t6%20Heart%20Rate%20Monitor%20Review.pdf
If anyone has ideas for better physiology-based workload estimates appropriate for ultra-runners, please post a reply!

  • For an endurance athlete, recovery time and related information is more relevant than Peak Training Effect. Peak Training Effect is a parameter that indicates the impact of a training session on your maximal aerobic performance (VO2max). If you select it to be displayed during your training, you can see the estimated effect of the session on your peak performance on a scale of 1 to 5, from minor to overreaching, during training. Peak Training Effect works best in medium to high intensity training at constant intensity level. It is not ideal for quantifying low intensity workouts. Base endurance training, regardless of how long and tiring the session is, will have a low Peak TE. The measurement itself is the same as Training Effect was before. The main difference is the new name that describes better the ideal application area of the parameter: Dedicated for peak performance, not intended for measuring long, low intensity base endurance training. The mathematical modelling of PeakTE is fully developed by Suunto and optimized for Suunto devices. A training session always has an effect on your body; as a result, you have to recover. Recovery Time is an estimate of how long your body needs to recover from a training session. The bigger the effect, the longer the needed recovery. Unlike PeakTE, Recovery Time continues to accumulate throughout the whole duration of a training session, also at low intensities.

Does anyone know if it’s Mac OS compatible?

  • Yes, you can attach the device to any USB compatible PC or Mac for charging. Moveslink software that you need for connecting your Ambit to Movescount.com online service is both PC and Mac compatible.

Will the Ambit register TE, EPOC, respiration rate and similar data like the t6d does?

  • Yes, beat to beat HR data is available from Ambit and respective HR analysis can be done in Movescount.com just like with t6. Great additions include live HR and Altitude Graphing, Peak Training Effect (PTE) and Recovery Time.

Does this watch offer similar/enhanced options for long distance triathlon use?

  • Yes, beat to beat HR data is available from Ambit and respective HR analysis can be done in Movescount.com just like with t6. Great additions include live HR and Altitude Graphing, Peak Training Effect (PTE) and Recovery Time.

Is there an upgrade path for the Quest?

  • Yes, an SW upgrade is due later in 2012 to provide users with more features.

A new GPS pod or something?

  • Lots of exciting things to come, we’ll all just have to wait to see what comes later this year….
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Author: Marcus

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32 Comments

  1. Just one note: FootPODs will, according to latest info, not (yet) be working with the Ambit, neither will current HR belts. So, if you want to use the training features, get the Ambit pack with the HR belt, and know that it will not (yet) be good for running on a treadmill or indoors and measure speed and distance (but that’s hardly the purview of the Ambit)!

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  2. keen for the awesome alarm! Thanks Suunto for the great responses.

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    • Wait until you see the backlight, wooo weee!

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  3. Thanks for chasing up those responses. And thanks to Suunto for providing them. I love the answer about not having vibrate alert, but having “an awesome alarm”! lol

    Now just counting days ’till it arrives. :-D

    Andrew P-M.

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    • Oh… but one thing: not sure about the four pin connector. I was hoping this could be worn as a day-to-day watch, but if the electrodes sit on the underside of the watch (like my Forerunner 105 and 305) it might get uncomfortable. Oh well… when it arrives I’ll let you know whether that is an issue or not.
      Andrew PM.

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      • I have the X10 and the four pins on the back is recessed a couple of mm so it is not in contact with the skin, so it remains comfortable to wear. I assume they have done the same thing with the Ambit.

      • Hi Andrew,

        The connection point is a recessed window not on the back of the face but on a bevelled edge which would not be making contact with the skin normally. Super comfy!

        Cheers,

        Suunto

  4. Interesting QA with some interesting answers. However I think Suunto did not give a proper response to this question:

    “How do you charge the watch (i.e. after 50 hours of running is there a way to continue running while charging the device with an external battery ?)”

    He/she wanted to know if it was possible to operate and use the watch while still charging it on the wrist, by hooking it up with the snake to a portable power pack. That way you can still use it while simultaneously charging it. This is not possible with the X10 that enters into a PC charge mode while charging and is disabled, the only function still working while charging is a set alarm. Everything else is disabled. It would be great if they designed the Ambit in such a way that it could still be fully operational during charge sessions.

    There is USB power packs that store more then 5000mAh of energy, if you hook one of those up with the snake to the watch, you will get more then 120 hours of use when having the GPS set to 1 sec intervals. That should be enough for even very extreme users.

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    • I was recently told that it will in fact be possible to charge and use the Ambit at the same time. Notice how the USB/charging connector on the Ambit is on the left side of the watch, where it is NOT covering any buttons when attached ;)

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    • I doubt that you could store 120hrs of 1s int data in the watch anyway. The USB power pack needs a USB disk too, maybe something for Ambit 2.0 :)

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  5. I originally asked if it has workouts like the Garmin where you can setup interval sessions, I can’t see an answer to that ?

    Something where you can say you want to do 10 x 400m with either time or distance recovery, and also the ability to program more complex sessions from the PC and upload, like a Mona where you might do 90s on/off x 2, 60s on/off x 2, etc. It’s a really great feature of Garmin as it means you can do interval work without a measured track and you get count down tones for each effort and recovery.

    To me it is a must have feature.

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    • Hi Mick,

      Interval sessions are a feature of the Suunto Ambit.

      Regarding the more complex sessions, there will be further info released once the final version of software is complete.

      Thanks,

      Suunto

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      • Well, Suunto told me that interval sessions is not a feature of the Ambit.

  6. More importantly when are they arriving !? I have my pre-order at Footpoint. Cant wait :)

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  7. Unfortunate and very disappointing:

    “Accelerometer is not used with 60s GPS interval. Speed and distance are based only on GPS measurements at 60s GPS interval. The aim of 60 sec fix time is to give extended battery life to an endurance athlete competing in events over 15 hours where adjustments in speed/distance are something that are monitored periodically as an average over time rather than every few seconds.”

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    • I’m surprised and happy enough they managed to integrate accelerometer and GPS to work together at all. Given how much an arm moves, and differently from the feet (thinking of the inexact measurements some people complain about with a FootPOD), imagine how much error there would be if the accelerometer alone tried to measure speed and distance from seconds 1 to 59…

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      • I agree that what they’ve done is still impressive but I was hopeful that the accelerometer would work while in the 50 hour mode to give accurate distances. Really, as a trail runner or backpacker, 50 hour battery life means nothing since the distance isn’t at all accurate with all of the twists and turns on the trails. Unless you are going in a straight line! You’ve still got all of the other stats but the distance is an important one. I’ll most likely still buy it but I was disappointed to hear this nonetheless.

    • I do hope that they ad cadence as a display option!! Arm and leg movement being in sync it should be fairly easy to do.. please!

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  8. I’d be interested whether it would be possible for this bad boy to count swimming strokes/laps in a future software update, based on it having the inbuilt accelerometer. A la Garmin 910xt and Swimovate Pool Mate watches. That’d be putting it close to perfection for me.

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  9. A couple of points to add to the wealth of good information above:
    as far as I understand the Ambit will not pair with footpods since it has the accelerometer built in to the watch. but it will pair with cadence and cycling spd/dist pods.

    i have seen that while charging the Ambit the display is active however the button lock icon appears in normal time display mode. However, if you are in an active log, ie the stopwatch is running then all the buttons are working so in theory you can charge this while on the move.

    the nice thing about the new watches (Quest and Ambit) is that they are upgradable with new features that Suunto is developing (as well as being compatible with new devices….that are coming) with easily downloadable software updates. Also that they can will be customizable to suit the users requirements for the info that is important to them.

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  10. The initial indications are very positive…

    Also, are there plans, if so dates to fully support Ant+ and therefore allow operation with other manufacturers HRM straps, speed/cadence sensors, footpods and power meters etc?

    If Ant+ is fully supported I am sure there will be a surge of new customers?

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  11. Ambit does not seem to have the “Bearing tracking” feature? Can’t find it on the suunto website. Appreciate if someone could confirm this? Thanks.

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  12. Does the ambit show you mgrs without going into an activity, also does the compass show mils instead of degrees…
    Oh last question looking at this also for a normal watch but need a stopwatch function, although a basic feature I can’t see this mentioned. Does it have a stopwatch?

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  13. Hi. I have enjoyed using my Ambit over the past week and a half. It is a great watch and I’ve been wearing it to work each day as well ;-)

    I just wanted to flag one thing that I thought was a little misleadig about the Suunto reply above. The question and answer posted were:
    Is it fair to assume the monitoring & training functions & analysis capabilities will be based on the T6c, so include both post-run and live (during run) V02 and EPOC? (presumably plus additional ones based on GPS data).

    ■Yes, beat to beat HR data is available from Ambit and respective HR analysis can be done in Movescount.com just like with t6. Great additions include live HR and Altitude Graphing, Peak Training Effect (PTE) and Recovery Time.

    In actual fact, NO, you DON’T get live EPOC or VO2. These can only be viewed later on movescount. The one I really wanted was live view of “recovery time” (presumably it keeps ticking upwards during exercise). This isn’t available until post-exercise.

    My other minor annoyance is that I can’t seem to get the HR zones to give an audible (beep) alert -only an on-screen arrow indicating you’ve gone above the max. It could be there’s a way to get that working, but I haven’t figured it out yet (any ideas welcome!).

    Cheers.
    Andrew.

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    • The beep only comes when you have been over/under your limits constantly for 2 minutes., when you hit your limits it beeps immediately

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  14. is that possible to add somekind of stopwatch program to the startscreen because its not so funny to start exersise to every time when you want to only use this stopwatch program..

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  15. Love the details of the watch and it seems to have all the function I need in my job however does it have a simple stopwatch or timer function, this is used regularily in my job or do I need to set up a program to run one?… This is all that seems not to be discussed. Thanks in advance.

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  16. Does the ambit have OS grids GB
    Cheers Andrew

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  17. Does the ambit do OS grids GB
    Cheers Andrew

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